MELBOURNE: "Cheeky" Bhutanese conjoined twins who were successfully separated after a marathon operation in Australia left hospital Monday (Nov 26), with doctors saying they had made an excellent recovery and were starting to act independently.
Fifteen-month-old Nima and Dawa - whose names mean "Sun" and "Moon" - were separated on Nov 9 at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, a month after arriving in Australia with their mother Bhumchu Zangmo.
"It has been incredibly rewarding to watch how the girls have recovered and just to watch their interaction now," said lead surgeon Joe Crameri told reporters. "The joy of being young and the joy of newness and seeing how the world can be when you are actually separated."
Crameri said the girls were "incredibly anxious" after the surgery, before gaining confidence and growing independent.
While the pair were recovering their strength and movement at a different pace, their scars were healing well and they were "looking strong", he said, adding that they were "cheeky" and like to mimic The Wiggles children's music group.
Meanwhile, their mother was delighted with their progress and taking care of them had become easier, Crameri said.
The twins and their mother are set to move to a town north of Melbourne, where the charity Children First Foundation - which helped them get to Australia - has a retreat.
The next recovery steps for the pair, who are learning to sit up on their own, was to gain enough strength and balance to stand, Crameri said, adding that a return date to Bhutan has not yet been set.
Bhutan is a poor Himalayan kingdom where doctors did not have the expertise to separate the girls, who were joined from the chest to the waist.